The French ambassador to the country was said to be expelled over what they called "outrageous" comments made by the French foreign minister
Mali military authorities have told the French ambassador to leave the country, in a 72-hour deadline announced on Monday.
The action puts into question a French-led anti-terrorist military operation present in Mali at the request of Malian leaders.
The French ambassador to the country was said to be expelled over what they called "outrageous" comments made by the French foreign minister about the transitional government.
A French diplomat said the French government took note of Mali’s decision, and reiterated France’s commitment to the stabilisation and development of the Sahel region, without elaborating.
According to ABCNews, this latest episode in the diplomatic crisis between Mali and its foreign partners comes days after the Malian government ordered Danish soldiers deployed in the French-led Takuba military operation to leave.
The representative for the Economic Community of West African States was also expelled from the country earlier this month after sanctions were imposed on Mali.
Tensions have been mounting in recent weeks as Mali’s interim president, Col Assimi Goïta, has delayed elections until 2026, solidified his control and showed reluctance to uphold international agreements.
The French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said last week that Mali’s leadership was “illegitimate and takes irresponsible measures.”
The Malian government summoned the French ambassador, Joël Meyer, on Monday and said he had 72 hours to leave the country, according to a Malian government statement announced on state television.
“This measure follows the hostile and outrageous comments made recently by the French minister of Europe and foreign affairs and the recurrence of such comments by the French authorities with regard to the Malian authorities, despite repeated protests,” the statement added.
The statement did not specify which comments it was referring to.